My mother passed away unexpectedly in August, 1982. That same year, the Dodgers defended their World Series Championship but were knocked out of contention on the last game of the regular season by, of course, the rival Giants. Although the year was filled with life’s emotional swings, a child’s mind can sometimes make everything more understandable.
During that 1982 season my oldest son reached the age of two. By the end of the 162nd game that year, my son had come to know, and love the Dodgers through the voice of Vin Scully, just like his father. Naturally. In the months following the passing of my mother, and the premature ending of the Dodgers’ season, I often had to console my son regarding the concept of loss. To help him understand and cope with the Dodgers’ absence from the playoffs was simple:“There’s always next year.” The concept of losing a loved one like Grandma, however, was a little more complex. Or so I thought.
Every night while I put my son to sleep, we would always repeat the same routine by sending our love to our family members through a series of blessings:
-“Bless mommy, and bless the baby, bless my uncles, and bless my aunts…”
The list continued, and typically worked its way out from our immediate family to our extended relatives.
One particular night, however, the list came to an emotionally silent stop. As we sent our love to our family, we recited:
-“Bless mommy, and the baby, and bless my uncles, and my aunts, and bless Grandpa, and Grandma, and bless…wait, Grandma died huh?”
I looked at my son and I replied with an answer I hoped he could understand:
-“Yeah, Grandma died. She’s in heaven with the angels.”
My son turned his head with a surprisingly confused look on his face and quickly snapped:
-“No! The Dodgers.”
Life is filled with many unanswerable questions. And sometimes the most impossible questions have the best answers, especially through a child’s eyes.
written in 2012, but sharing now in honor of Vin Scully upon his retirement
#DearVin Thank you.